Yasumasa Morimura

Born 1951 in Osaka, Japan, Morimura graduated with bachelor and master's degree in design from Kyoto City University of Arts. In 1985, he first presented his self portrait as Vincent van Gogh at a group exhibition called "Smile with Radical Will" and received high acclaims. He has since then created numerous self portraiture artworks by transforming himself into various figures from fine art portraits, actresses to important historical icons. In 2016, his retrospective exhibition "The Self-Portraits of YASUMASA MORIMURA: My Art, My Story, My History" is held in the National Museum of Art, Osaka. In this intriguing exhibition, his great compilation of self portraits become a tool that helps us take an overview of the history of art.


Morimura participated in a large number of exhibitions in and out of Japan, beginning with the Aperto section of the 43rd Venic16 Biennale in 1988. He was appointed as the Artistic Director for the 5th Yokohama Trienniale "ART Fahrenheit 451: Sailing into the sea of oblivion" in 2014.


His main solo exhibitions in Japan include: "The Sickness to Beauty - Self-portrait as Actress" (1996/Yokohama Museum of Art), "Self-Portrait as Art History" (1998/Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo), "Self-Portraits: An Inner Dialogue with Frida Kahlo" (2001/Hara Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo), "A Requiem: Art on Top of the Battlefield" (2010/Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography & others) and many others.


His main publications include: "Self Portrait as Actress: Yasumasa Morimura" by Nigensha Co., Ltd., "Manebu Art History (Imitating Art History)" by Akaaka Art Publishing, Inc., "Rojian Sensei no Anpontan" by Shinshusha Publishing and "Conversations About Requiem / Considering the 20th Century" by Iwanami Shoten Publishers.


Morimura received the Kyoto Cultural Merit Award in 2006, Minister of Education Award for Fine Arts in 2007, 52nd Mainichi Art Award, Photographic Society of Japan Award and the 24th Kyoto Artistic Culture Prize in 2011, as well as Medal with Purple Ribbon in the Autumn of the same year. He was also selected as Person of Cultural Merit (Bunka Korosha) by Kyoto City in 2013.


Morimura is based in Osaka.


  • Yasumasa Morimura

    Los Nuevos Caprichos

    Yasumasa Morimura

    "Los Nuevos Caprichos" is Yasumasa Morimura's homage to Francisco de Goya's (1746-1828) series "Los Caprichos". It was during Goya's mature period in 1799 when the series was published.
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